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Sunday newspaper round-up: Ukraine, HSBC, Quilter

(Sharecast News) - Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, issued a warning at the weekend that the war with Russia might halve Ukraine's harvest. Even so, Zelensky sounded a confident note, arguing that alternative ways were being found for grains to be delivered. John Rich, the Australian chairman of MHP, Ukraine's biggest agricultural produce company, was much more cautious. Rich also contradicted remarks from Lloyd's of London's boss during the previous week that the insurance market would underwrite the dangerous sea transit of millions of tonnes of grain through mine-laden waters. - Sunday Telegraph Local investors in Hong Kong are expected to press HSBC at a meeting this week to give its largest shareholder, Chinese insurer Ping An, a seat on its board. In April, the Chinese insurer, which holds 9% of HSBC's shares, surprised investors by calling for the Asia-focused lender to spin-off its unit for the region. Local politician, Christine Fong, is due to participate in the meeting in representation of approximately 500 investors. - Sunday Times

NatWest is in the preliminary stages of studying a bid for wealth management outfit Quilter, City sources said. Other potential suitors for the FTSE 250 group included private equity firms CVC, Bain Capital and BC Partners. With a market value of only £1.4bn, the firm is considered by some observers to be one of the many that lack sufficient size to compete with larger rivals. - Financial Mail on Sunday

The head of Parliament's Business Committee, Darren Jones, penned a letter to the Business Secretary this weekend to express his concern regarding the Chinese state's stake in Eutelsat, the satellite operator which may soon acquire UK taxpayer-backed Oneweb. Jones also asked that the Secretary scrutinise Eutelsat's broadcasts of Russian TV throughout the war in Ukraine. A former leader of the Tories, Iain Duncan Smith, thinks the government will have to stop the sale of OneWeb on national security grounds. Jones also asked that his committee be granted enhanced scrutiny of the potential transaction. - Financial Mail on Sunday

Hedge fund manager, Crispin Odey, whose funds own large stakes in Currys and AO World, is calling on the former to forego its "price lock" and to raise the prices for its wares, including washing machines and refrigerators. "Freezers, machine washings and electronic goods are going to have to be more expensive as they are currently being kept artificially low by the two of the predominant market players - Currys and AO World," Odey said. Curry boss, Alex Baldock, had promised to do just the opposite. - Sunday Telegraph

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Thursday newspaper round-up: Border controls, McKinsey, KPMG
(Sharecast News) - New post-Brexit UK border controls coming into force later this month will cost British businesses £2bn and fuel higher inflation, according to a report warning that UK-EU trade will be damaged as a result. With less than a month before the introduction of new checks on animal and plant products from 30 April, the insurer Allianz Trade said the controls agreed under Boris Johnson's Brexit deal could add 10% to import costs over the first year. - Guardian
Wednesday newspaper round-up: Shoplifting, EnQuest, Klarna
(Sharecast News) - The government is investing more than £55m in expanding facial recognition systems - including vans that will scan crowded high streets - as part of a renewed crackdown on shoplifting. The scheme was announced alongside plans for tougher punishments for serial or abusive shoplifters in England and Wales, including being forced to wear a tag to ensure they do not revisit the scene of their crime, under a new standalone criminal offence of assaulting a retail worker. - Guardian
Tuesday newspaper round-up: Pharma companies, Puig, Thames Water
(Sharecast News) - Rachel Reeves has said an incoming Labour government would launch a £5bn crackdown on tax avoiders to close a gap in its spending plans exposed by Jeremy Hunt scrapping the non-dom regime to finance tax cuts. Warning households and businesses that Labour was prepared to adopt tough measures to tackle tax fraud and non-compliance, Reeves said the funding would be used to pay for free school breakfast clubs and additional NHS appointments. - Guardian
Monday newspaper round-up: Boeing, rent rises, e-scooters, Santander UK
(Sharecast News) - US airline regulators have launched an investigation after an engine cowling on a Boeing plane fell off during takeoff and struck the wing flap. The Southwest Airlines flight 3695 rose to about 10,300ft (3,140 metres) before returning safely 25 minutes after takeoff to Denver international airport at about 8.15am local time on Sunday. It was towed to the gate after landing. The Boeing aircraft with 135 passengers and six crew members aboard had been headed to Houston. No one was injured. - Guardian

Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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